Gimme some “Sugar & Salt” (Sugar House Novella Series) by @PavartiKTyler
Erotica & Romance come together with Sugar & Salt
I am thrilled once again to have Pavarti K. Tyler, one of the most amazing authors I literally stumbled upon a couple years ago with her serial novels and later with her other novels which always push boundaries. Sometimes just a nudge and sometimes pick up the whole kit and caboodle of what you consider normal and defenestrate it, as was the case of Consumed by Love - A Short Story (I will let the review speak for itself.) If Pav were to write a book about Civic Planning in the Sahara and I would read it to front to back and love it. Her voice is one that speaks to more than just my brain, but my heart and my mushy insides, and in this case, some very specific warm and soft mushy insides… ohhhh ya. The book is for 18+ and I can guarantee since this is a panty melter, the review is too.
I can count the times I have reviewed an Erotic Romance on all my nipples … ummm nipples of which I promise I only have two! Yep! That is right, because I never have reviewed erotica, romance or any of the like, only the above, Consumed by Love, which actually is erotic horror and trust me one of the most powerful and moving stories I have read. But erotic romance? Nope! Sure I have read them, in fact I have a rather large collection of straight erotica from the Victorian era and female erotica from masters such as Anaïs Nin and many of the pieces from the mid 19th century. Yes, I will admit it, it gets lonely here in the cabin and my Lelo is well used and always charged!
One reason that I actually am more inclined to read an erotic romance, such as Sugar & Salt, and not just straight romance, other than the obvious one, is that Erotica, and in this case, erotic romance, is going to to also include some satire and social commentary. Sugar & Salt has plenty, but I will save that for later. Right now, I have to go clean a toy *grin* and get a cup of tea. Continue reading for my thoughts on this wonderful story and also make sure to enter the giveaway Pav has put together with free paperbacks and eBooks from some of the best Indie Erotica authors around.
I have read this a total of four times now. The first time was when I beta read it during Camp NaNoWriMo last spring, the second time was when I got this for review. The third was this morning, and I read it again tonight. Why you ask? Ummm, well, one because I fell asleep during the second time I read it and wanted to make sure I did finish it because it evoked bizarre dreams. And the last time? Well, because it was so good, I was needing to feel better after being sick all weekend and I still had that wonderful warm feeling you have when you read a good story. Since it was a short read, why not? But let’s get to the meat of this review, why is this book better or what makes it stand out among a sea of erotic romance?
First, as I mentioned above, I don’t read most contemporary erotic romance on the indie publishing scene. I frankly have not found many authors that can break out of the set rules and boxes which have been set up and are proven formulas for romance (which include erotic romance). In the world of genre “marriage” Erotica and Romance have been merged to blend both the complexity of Erotica and the happy endings of romance allowing for a sexually terse and focused story. This story certainly has it all.
Without spoilers let me break it down why I feel it succeeds at both being an erotica and a romance. (this is my list and by no means am I even close to being an expert, but I read literotica all the time and I know what I like.)
- Sex, lots of hot steamy “gotta-break-out-the-toys” sex: Yep, there is sex in spades, darlin’, in spades. Ms. Tyler dives right in with the tension needed for the the reader to be taken right along and feel Salt’s tongue as he glides it up her thigh and tastes her. To feel his skin under our own nails as Janice runs them down his well defined back and ass… It pushes the boundaries and gives us a few glimpses with ass smacking, the obvious Dominance and submission from Sugar House, menage a trois, one night stands, casual sex… oh and let’s not forget the museum.. oh.. my… GODS *clearing throat* Yep, it has at least five orgasms worth of sex in this tight little 146 page novella.
- Characters I like, and not just the main protagonists: OH and I certainly do like all the characters introduced and I think I rather love Portia and Jackson a bit more than the main characters even. BUt perhaps this is because their story has yet to begin and I am in love with the idea of it. I believe in the second book coming in spring of 2014 we will hear their story from the Sugar House. Devon (Salt) and Janice (Sugar) have immediate “flypaper” like attachment for me. Come on, what is not to like about a man who introduces himself in a speed dating instance with “I don’t recycle” Right along with Janice we are just as intrigued and want to find out the mystery behind Greenpeace. This brings us to our next point…
- An actual Story: There has to be a story for me to follow and a reason for me to read it. Which means there has to be a device and a cause and substance. Sugar & Salt has all of these things. Much like the speed dating at the beginning, the pace is fast, but not rushed like many eroticas. It has this lovely perfect pace… a few cracks you can trip on, or a hem of a dress you need another set of heels to wear so you can enter the party without tripping. In other words… just right.
- Conflict and Resolution: Goes without saying there has to be some kind of conflict, something that is going to be an issue between the two who are involved, Sugar and Janice in this instance is a pretty basic one. He is working for the UN and he is fighting to make a difference from the point of view of the individual (ie: the one boy whose mother has been raped in front of him etc.. retraining women in the sex industry from third world countries.. see where I am going?). Which, as soon Janice finds out she knows they cannot be together, and why? Well because Janice is a high end Madame who runs Sugar House and she knows it would ruin him. As much as she respects herself, she is realistic and she runs an illegal business. In the end… we have resolution, the happy ending of the romance… Well almost.. almost.. and sometimes you don’t have to have a full out orgams to “get off” on a story.WAIT, stop, no ax handles or vampires needed to resolve this conflict! Though perhaps a few smacks up side the.. or at least on the ass.
I’m at the beginning of a love affair with Janice, I want to be her Portia.. yep, and I am so not going to admit to whom I am fantasizing as being her. Pavarti wrote a character doing something which has such a stigma attached but doing it as honestly and with as much integrity as you can in the industry she is in. The big plus here is the social commentary of this. It speaks to the ability to be sexual without being degrading. Being empowered and still submitting to our needs. Perhaps I am reading more than some because of my lifestyle background, and perhaps it is because I have read the book many times.
Devon is strangely naive and as much as I wanted to kill him for his narrow mindedness (conflict which I won’t go into aka spoiler) the menage a trois was really hot, and it showed me a baby Dom, a true Alpha (and not the alpha males which many romances talk about within the urban para rom genre but this is straight BDSM). I see so much potential for this couple and so many different adventures for the whole Sugar House family.
This really was a treat and I am honored to have Pavarti at the cabin again! Hey Pav, here is an extra Soy Caramel Macchiato to go, watch out for Herbert, he has been tetchy lately and has been throwing pinecones at my company. Don’t worry about the moose, he is to busy eating my dead trees to worry about anything! Oh and… thanks for the.. ummm (casting my eyes down) you know… *wink*
This book was lovely and I am giving it…
Sugar & Salt: A Sugar House Novella
Series: Sugar House Novella Series
by Pavarti K. Tyler
on December 2, 2013
Genres: Erotic Romance
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After over a decade working in the sex industry, Janice Cane retains no illusions about the nature of relationships. Everyone lies and everyone wants something. Still, a part of her longs for a connection.
Speed-dating becomes her addiction, a place to find a man for the night when she needs a quick fix, and her last hope that true love may still be waiting around the next corner. When a mysterious man entices both her intellect and her lust, she becomes entangled in an affair more complicated than she’d expected.
Enter the world of The Sugar House. Here you’ll meet the illustrious Madam Janice Cane and her brood of men and women who will fulfill your every fantasy. But can they find a way to fulfill their own?
(For mature readers of 18+ and up)
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Pavarti K Tyler Award winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature, Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway. Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry at several international law firms. She now lives with her husband, two daughters and one very large, very terrible dog. She keeps busy working with fabulous authors as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity and penning her next genre bending novel.
Watch for Book Two – Protecting Portia
And if that was not enough, how about an excerpt!
In the Shadow of the Gods
“I fucking hate these people,” a familiar gravelly voice says from behind Janice, taking her breath away. A flush spreads across her chest, bringing the nerve endings of her body to life and igniting the smoldering embers of her desire.
She takes a deep, steadying breath, and turns around. “You’re here.” The reaction of her body does nothing to dispel her belief that any entanglement with Salt remains doomed before it begins.
“It’s the social event of the summer.” He wears a cocky smile and custom-fit tux. Broad shoulders fight against the confines of the jacket, emphasizing the strength beneath, but not enough to require the next size. “I noticed your name on the donor list and bought my way in.” He steps closer, hands hovering at his sides, ready to reach out.
She studies his hands and relishes the memory of his touch on her waist, the grip of his embrace.
“You didn’t come back to the bar.”
“I told you this won’t work.”
“I can’t stop thinking about you.”
“Please….” Janice moves to turn away, but he takes her hand in his. His grip is loose—not intended to restrain, but more of a plea.
“I don’t understand what happened. Whatever it is, I can fix it. Just don’t walk away again.” Vulnerability in a man usually turns her off, but his sincerity speaks directly to her soul, reminding her of what it means to feel.
“It’s nothing you can fix, because it has nothing to do with you.” She is mesmerized by the green of his eyes, the shadow of yesterday’s beard, and the soft lines around his mouth. “I can’t tell you more than that.”
“Then don’t.” He tightens his grip on her hand and pulls her closer.
She is forced to step forward, due to the precarious balance required to walk in these heels.
“Don’t tell me anything.” He gently parts his lips and they breathe together, their movements so perfectly in sync one could believe they were one body, one breath. “How about we don’t talk, just dance?”
Before she can respond, he sweeps an arm around her waist and guides her to the crowded dance floor. In his arms, she relinquishes control, allowing him to lead her across the room, through the crowd, and into a dream. His embrace is warm and familiar, and though she knows she should walk away, she finds it impossible. The green of his eyes shines bright in the glow of their closeness, and for just a moment, she wonders if it might be possible. His hand rests on the small of her back, directing her movements with subtle firmness. The rest of the room fades away, black surrounding the spotlight of his gaze, until they are the only ones who exist.
She presses closer, removing her hand from his and setting them both on his shoulders.
His breath catches and he tilts his head down toward her. Music swells in the background and the lights dim. He releases his hold on her and steps back, leaving his hand on her back.
The presenter announces it’s time to take their seats, but Salt doesn’t move; instead, he quirks his eyebrow, posing the question.
She knows this can never be, but the air has left the building and she’s intoxicated with the thought of his lips.
He drops his hand from her back, and takes her hand.
Before she can answer, he strides forward, leading her out of the banquet hall, past the private exhibit, and out into the dimly lit hall.
Hand in hand, they navigate the maze of the empty museum without a word, taking in the blur of surrounding art. He stops to look at a painting, and she drops his hand to skip ahead to the Greek and Roman displays.
A massive, fluted column stands in the center of the room, its base lined with delicate carving, showing an elaborate, scaled pattern. She studies the piece, struck by its size and beauty. What a display of power and worship.
“It’s from the Temple of Artemis.” He speaks in a hushed tone appropriate for the low lighting. Reverence fills the room as they gaze at the sculpture. “Goddess of childbirth and virginity.” He wraps his arms around her middle, pulling her against his strong chest.
The air conditioning chills her arms, but his embrace invigorates her pulse. “And of the hunt.”
“Like all women.”
“Like you.” He turns her around in his arms and stares at her parted lips.
She sucks in a breath, anticipating the sweetness of his mouth.
“You make me hunt you.” With brutal force, he leans in and kisses her, holding her close in his strong, determined arms.
She struggles against his hold, but only enough to free her arms, reach up around his neck, and pull him closer. She nips his lip and then submits to his need, opening her mouth and drawing in his tongue.